Video Shows Wild Hit-and-Run Allegedly Involving Councilwoman

Amy DeGise is refusing calls to resign
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2022 1:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – Some are calling for a New Jersey city councilwoman to resign after she was caught on camera allegedly running into a cyclist and then driving away, though the story is a bit more complicated than that. Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise allegedly struck the cyclist, who is recovering, just before 8am on July 19 and didn't report the incident until six hours later, NJ.com reports. Traffic camera video caught the incident from both sides of the intersection. The details:

  • The cyclist's story: Andrew Black was picking up a delivery order for his Uber Eats job when he was struck. He initially told media outlets the light was green for him and he had the right-of-way, but authorities later contradicted that account, Fox News reports, and video shows the light was red for him when he entered the intersection. It also shows him getting up and walking to the sidewalk after being struck. He tells HudPost he hit and then rolled over the car's hood, but other than deep bruising, did not suffer any major injuries. He does say he's suffering from anxiety and PTSD, however.

  • The councilwoman's story: DeGise isn't saying much, other than she has no plans to resign; she says she won't comment on the incident due to the pending investigation, NBC New York reports. "Councilwoman DeGise was elected overwhelmingly just a few months ago and she has no intention of walking away from the commitment she made to serve the people of Jersey City. She will not resign and plans to complete her full term and continue in public service," a rep says. A source told the Jersey Journal DeGise hit her head during the crash and went to police "after ... coming to the realization of what had occurred," but NJ.com reports, without adding further detail, that that statement "now appears to be false."
  • Backlash against the councilwoman: Black called for DeGise to resign and said he is considering a lawsuit. At least two of her fellow council members also called for her to step down, and thousands of people have signed a petition urging her to do so. A GoFundMe campaign has raised thousands of dollars for Black, whose bike was also wrecked in the accident, keeping him from working as a courier. DeGise was issued two summonses (failure to report an accident and leaving the scene of an accident); it's not clear whether Black will be cited for allegedly running the light.
  • Backlash against the cyclist: Not everyone, however, is on Black's side. In an op-ed at NJ.com, Paul Mulshine writes that the incident shows "bicyclists think they're above the law" and that unsafe attitude can't continue. And at Insider NJ, Fred Snowflack agrees with that: While DeGise should have stopped, he writes, "it’s become common to see bikers paying no attention to red lights or stop signs. Nor is it uncommon to see bikers riding the wrong way on one-way streets."
(Read more New Jersey stories.)

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